Great Blue Turaco

Great Blue Turaco


Corythaeola cristata
Population size
Life Span
30 yrs
800-1,231 g
70-76 cm

The Great blue turaco is the largest species of turaco family endemic to Africa. It has a bright blue body, rounded wings, long tail, and strong legs. Both the males and the females are similar in appearance and their coloration doesn’t change throughout the year.


Great blue turacos are found in West and Central Africa. They live in rainforests and savanna areas with forest patches.

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Great blue turacos are gregarious, non-migratory birds; they live in groups of up to 10 individuals and several groups may gather in one large tree. These birds are weak flyers, but they are strong climbers and are able to move nimbly on branches and through vegetation. Being fairly arboreal they rarely come down to the ground, only to drink or to bathe. Great blue turacos are active during the day. They feed starting from early morning and until the dusk; during the mid-day heat, the birds may rest in shades of the tree canopy. Great blue turacos are vocal birds and are usually heard at dawn and dusk. They make loud guttural 'kok-kok-kok' and also soft trills.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Great blue turacos are herbivores (frugivores). They eat mainly fruits but leaves, buds, and flowers.

Mating Habits

varies with location
29-31 days
3 months
2 eggs

Great blue turacos are monogamous and form pairs. Their breeding season depends on location. When the pair is formed, both adults begin to build the nest. It is a platform made with dry sticks and placed in a tall tree, often near water. The female lays 2 eggs and both parents incubate them for 29-31 days. The chicks are fed by both parents. They leave the nest 6 weeks after hatching but stay with their parents for up to 3 months.


Population threats

Despite being widespread Great blue turacos suffer from deforestation, hunting, and trapping for trade in some parts of the range. In the Bandundu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, these beautiful birds are actively hunted for meat and feathers.

Population number

The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Great blue turaco total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • Great blue turacos belong to the bird family Musophagidae (literally "banana-eaters"), which includes plantain-eaters and go-away-birds. In southern Africa, both turacos and go-away-birds are commonly known as loeries.
  • In the area of Bandundu around the city of Kikwit (DR Congo), the Great blue turaco is called "Kolonvo".
  • The blue and yellow tail feathers of the Great blue turaco are prized for making good luck talismans.
  • The turacos are noted for peculiar and unique pigments that give these birds their bright green, blue and red feathers.
  • Juvenile turacos have claws on their wings that help them climb through trees.


1. Great Blue Turaco on Wikipedia -
2. Great Blue Turaco on The IUCN Red List site -

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